In the winter of 2012-2013, Snow Poems surfaced on 60 windows around Santa Fe, turning the city into a living book. The project was supported by a Spread Grant from SITE Santa Fe.
Amateur and published poets of all ages wrote poems that were curated for windows within schools, county, city, state buildings as well as independent businesses. The project connected disparate locations with a diversity of voices. The poems were washed away when light signaled spring, but they live on as postcards. We invite you to use the postcards to connect with friends and family, while sharing the spirit of Snow Poems.
We will be printing 500 souvenir accordion-style postcard books that bring together the aesthetic experience of Snow Poems in images and words. A postcard book will be given to each poet included in the postcard book, and will be for sale. It is a way that the project can move beyond the city of Santa Fe and into the world via the endearing and intimate form of handwritten postcards. The proceeds will go towards funding future Snow Poems projects.
Last year Cut+Paste Society partnered with Santa Fe Art Institute on Snow Poems 2013, a temporary project that explored the city as a living book written by it’s inhabitants. We used decorative spray snow to stencil poetry on windows throughout the city from the end of December 2012 through the beginning of March 2013. The goal was to use poetry to turn our public spaces into human spaces during the dead of winter, when the city can feel dormant.
We stenciled poems on 60 windows on 41 different buildings including three elementary schools, a middle school, Teen Court, a high school, the community college, a university, county, city, and state buildings as well as independent businesses. The poetry was written in three free poetry workshops, workshops by Cut+Paste Society members and others in seven different schools, and from open submissions on our website. Cut+Paste Society members blindly curated poems for windows. Students to poet laureates alike wrote and adapted original poetry for the windows, and people of all walks of life were able to enjoy the project from the streets and in their locations.
The project built community with related free public events: an opening photography exhibition and poetry reading (including three Santa Fe poet laureates and Cut+Paste Society members); walking tours and outreach in elementary, middle, and highschools; a free printed guide map, and a closing celebration with a spontaneous choir led by local artist activist Molly Sturges.
As the poems have been washed away, the postcard book is a lively archive of the project, a reminder of the beauty of poems co-mingled in shadow and light, and the individual voices in the form of the poems. Each postcard is of one of the windows or the shadows cast, with that particular poem and the name of the poet printed on back. The postcard book is a memento of the sense of community felt in the city while the poems were up with its variety of locations and diversity of voices. The postcard book keeps the project alive and expanding as each postcard can be torn off and sent to friends and family beyond Santa Fe.
We need to produce the postcard book before the holidays, as we would like to take advantage of this time for people to buy the postcard book as a gift. This winter we are planning to execute Snow Poems in three senior centers around Santa Fe (installing January 2-8), and we a planning to work Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (tentative dates December 26-31). We would like to take advantage of these opportunities to have the postcard book available for sale during the excitement of the project in these other locations. The project was initially supported through a Site Santa Fe Spread grant that we won by popular vote. Site Santa Fe will allow us to sell this book and we will be selling from our website.
As we continue to develop this project, which we would like to bring Snow Poems to more cities, the postcard book also provides tangible evidence to help convey the strength, beauty, and potential for raising funds to manifest the project in other cities.
Cut+Paste Society is a community of woman writers and artists in the Santa Fe area. We began monthly meetings in 2010. Our goal is to bring together our varied experiences, skills, practices, and communities to make work that reaches beyond our individual spheres of influence. Edie Tsong is the founder of Cut+Paste Society. Cut+Paste Society is partnering with SFAI on the Snow Poems Book project.